Modern-day doyen of journalism in Nigeria and a former two term governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba has taken a swipe at Chief Ayo Adebanjo, describing the Afenifere chieftain as clog in the wheel of progressive politics.
Aremo Osoba was reaction to allegations made by Adebanjo against him that he and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu sold-out on the issue of restructuring Nigeria.
Osoba speaking in an interview published in Sunday vanguard said “I have consistently preached that this country needs genuine and true federalism. I have, over the years, campaigned that what we need is the Canadian/Australian model. His (Adebanjo) attitude is that you must agree with his definition and you must not have a contrary opinion.
The former Ogun State governor also revealed that “He (Adebanjo) has always been antagonistic to anybody who rose to governance within the progressives’ family. He was antagonistic to the UPN governors when they reached out to the PRP governors in the Second Republic. He led the crusade against the governors and told Awolowo that the UPN governors had sold out. When Papa (Awolowo) got exasperated he called a meeting of the UPN leaders at Eko Hotel.
“I recall Chief Onabanjo speaking on behalf of the governors and telling Chief Awolowo that “all the people shouting are not more loyal to you than we are, that if the party must win at the federal level, the party must relate with others outside Western Region”.
“At the end, Chief Awolowo said the governors should continue with their association but they should report regularly to the National Executive Committee of the party.
“They then expanded their association to 12 governors. That was the group that led Awolowo into signing an agreement with Dr Azikiwe in Benin ahead of the 1983 presidential election which Awolowo actually won.
Their reaching out was very helpful. It was that same progressive association that helped us when we moved to the Third Republic SDP that produced the late Chief MKO Abiola as presidential candidate.
Osoba said Adebanjo has never been comfortable with any governor either in UPN or in AD. That is what is manifesting now in his attack on Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande and Niyi Adebayo who walked out on them in 2003. He bragged that he made us governors.
“Who among us did not have political experience before we became governors in 1999? Lam Adesina as Oyo governor was, as far back as 1979, a House of Reps member in the National Assembly dominated by the late Chief Abraham Adesanya and co.
The late Chief Adefarati as Ondo governor was a Commissioner under Ajasin. Akande in Osun was deputy to the late Chief Bola Ige as old Oyo governor. So he is making a cheap statement by saying we are not consistent.
The point is that Adebanjo has never contested any election. I challenge him to test his popularity. He should pick anywhere in Ogun, let the two of us walk around. There is no village in Ogun State that I will not call out three or four families.”